The Hague

Weekendje weg (Or: Disneyland Paris, 25th anniversary)

Weekendje weg = a short weekend trip. A bit ironic here, since our trip was five days…

Last weekend (Thurs-Mon), Marco, Roger and I went to Disneyland Paris. This was my second time – the first was during our honeymoon in 2013. And this time we splurged a bit, booking a suite in Sequoia Lodge, a hotel themed after the American northwest. The excuse was that we were with three adults, so this way everyone has plenty of room! And little did we know that the complimentary VIP fast passes (unlimited use) would quickly come in handy when we realized we arrived in the middle of a French school holiday…

We went by train, taking the Thalys from Rotterdam. First class! So free breakfast when you board at 7am. That got us to Gare du Nord, the train station in Paris. Then we had to take the metro (45 minutes to an hour) to get to Disneyland itself. It’s east of the city. We booked “Disneyland express” which meant that when you arrive at the Disney train station you can drop off your luggage and collect your park entrance tickets and VIP fast passes right then and there. They deliver your luggage to the hotel while you go straight to the park. We ended up not getting to the hotel until around 8 or 9pm that night.

Another perk of the room type – separate registration area! It was like opening a new bank account – you went to a desk, with two chairs for the guests. You have a seat while they get the last formalities squared away. There was a bowl of 25th anniversary golden coins (dark chocolate), free for the taking. We took a few, not knowing just how many we’d get during this five day trip…

At this point the worker called someone to let them know what our room number was so they could deliver the luggage to the room and open the sofa bed for Roger. We didn’t go to the room right away, but instead headed over to the “Golden Forest” lounge (for anyone with a Golden Forest room or better). It was a strange experience – there was no one else there! Unfortunately that was the only time we would see the place empty again.

Sequoia Lodge Golden Forest lounge

The advantage of the Golden Forest lounge – it is also a breakfast area, and you can get breakfast whenever you want between 7 and 11am. During breakfast they open both rooms. The first time Marco and I went to Disneyland together, we stayed at the New York hotel and had to pick half hour slots when we wanted to have breakfast (first come first serve at hotel checkin). This was much more relaxed.

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Last days of summer (Or: A walk through the Haagse Bos and Benoordenhout)

A few weeks ago – the last decent warm day, really – Marco and I took a walk from Central Station through the Haagse Bos (The Hague forest) towards Benoordenhout, a district of The Hague.

Monument to Queen Consort Emma of the Netherlands

Monument to Emma, Queen consort of the Netherlands

Above is a monument to Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, the mother of Queen Wilhema. After the death of her husband, King Willem III, Emma became the Queen Consort of the Netherlands in 1890. This lasted until 1898 when Wilhema came of age.

(Huh. There’s a tram stop/street called Waldeck Pyrmontkade. And now I know why.)

Scouting Stnaley 55 building in The Hague

Building for Scouting Stanley 55.

Above is a building for the scouting group Scouting Stanley 55

Statue of Marie Gravin van Bylandt, The Hague

Statue of Maria Gravin van Bylandt

It is a bit hard to tell in this photo but the woman is holding a dog in her lap. This is Maria Gravin van Bylandt, whose organization promotes projects which help people as well as animals.

MAOC Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, The Hague

The Gravin van Bylandt Stichting

Old school Albert Heijn logo

Albert Heijn of yesteryear

And the last photo is of an Albert Heijn (local supermarket) which still has the older, golden logo. Cool!

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Soccer? Football? (Or: My first ADO Den Haag game)

Of course – it is called football (or voetbal) over here. Roger bought some tickets for the ADO Den Haag game a few weeks back, against Sparta Rotterdam. So Marco and I met up with Roger and his mother – although our first stop was the Rrrollend Foodtruck festival. The last one of the year in The Hague! We are already looking forward to the return of the festival in 2018.

Here is the ADO Den Haag stadium – reachable by tram 3 or 4 from the city centre (Forepark station).

ADO Den Haag football stadium

Unfortunately it is about a 10 minute walk from the station, but at least you don’t have to take the train.

Before the ADO Den Haag football game

Before the game – people filing in and the grass being watered. It is hard to tell from this photo, but the seats are elevated, with fans needing to climb a flight of metal stairs to get to this level. The field is separated by a high wall to prevent rioters from reaching the field.

The section on the other side with the team logo is where the fans with season cards sit.

More flag waving before ADO Den Haag football game

At the beginning of the game they passed out a lot of large flags to our section. If you sit here your flag waving skills better be good!

Flag waving before the ADO Den Haag game

Above is one very energetic fan. He first passed this flag to another spectator, asking if the man wanted to wave the flag. When this didn’t really happen (the guy just held it in his hands), the guy took it back and began to wave it frantically. And note the back of his shirt – 070 is the area code of The Hague.

1-0 score between ADO Den Haag and Sparta

We ended up winning the game 1-0. It would have been 2-0 but there was a goal called off for being offside.

The best part: we were sitting right behind the goal so we had a great view.

Blue Army graffiti by the stands at ADO Den Haag football game

Here’s a look at the graffiti-filled wall that separates the fans from the field. The stairs to go up to the stands are off to the left.

All in all it was a fun game. Though I have to admit that my favorite moment was when ADO Den Haag had a goal chance that the Sparta goalkeeper blocked – four times! The ball kept being hit back to the ADO Den Haag player, who had little choice but to kick it back in the same direction. it was like a game of pong.

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Metallica at Ziggo Dome (Or: A view from any seat)

Earlier in the month, Metallica came to the Netherlands for their Hardwired… to self-destruct European tour. Here’s a nifty photo that Marco took:

Metallica at Ziggo Dome, 2017

And yes, the stage is in the middle for this concert. Interesting setup!

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Wednesday evenings (Or: Food and fun by Milu)

Last Wednesday I went out for dinner and cocktails with a friend of mine. We went to Milu, a restaurant in the centre of The Hague near the Grote Kerk (literally “the big church”). It was my second time visiting – the first time was with coworkers. The restaurant’s premise is sharing dishes; we ended up having three “rounds” of food and drink.

Round #1:

Bruschetta bread and beef teriyaki with Chinese pancakes. With a green tea mojito for me.

Bruschetta bread, Milu, The Hague

Beef teriyaki and Chinese pancakes, Milu, The Hague

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To Buitenhof and Lange Voorhout (Or: Monopoly – Den Haag edition!)

A few weeks ago Marco and I visited Tabletop Kingdom, a store for board games, card games and similar. I saw a cool display:

Monopoly - Den Haag edition

That’s right – a special Monopoly edition for The Hague!

At the website for Paagman you can see an overhead view of the board as one of the product images. The railroad cards are replaced by important HTM stops (e.g. halte Spui and Halte Centraal). What I do like is that recent photos are used – for example, “Spui” has a photo of the city hall with the Mondriaan colors added earlier in the year. Or that there is a spot for the Pier at Scheveningen, with the relatively new Ferris wheel.

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Prins Hendrikplein (Or: Turtles need to drink, too)

From June…

Prins Hendrikplein in The Hague

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Good eats (Or: Rrrollend Foodtruck festival returns)

Rrrollend Foodtruck festival returned to the Malieveld this weekend.

Foodtruck Festival Rrrollend, Malieveld in The Hague

Last year I went with Roll or bowl, whereas this year I went Indian, having chicken curry with rice at Indian Roast.

Chicken curry with rice, Indian Roast

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Haagse Wereld Hapjes (Or: Bites of the world)

At the end of June Marco and I went to the Haagse Wereld Hapjes food festival at the Lange Voorhout. That translates to something like ‘Bites of the world, from The Hague’. It featured 25 different restaurants based in The Hague or surrounding area, with cuisines ranging from Persian to Argentinian to Slovakian.

The one restaurant that caught my eye was Pops, an American restaurant over in nearby Wassenaar. They really outdid themselves with their decorations:

Haagse Wereld Hapjes - Pops restaurant (American)

A look at the overall area:

Haagse Wereld Hapjes - A view of the festival

And, of course – you need entertainment with your food:

Haagse Wereld Hapjes - Performers

It was a fun experience and a great initiative by the city!

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Celebrating Thailand (Or: Thailand Grand Festival in The Hague)

At the beginning of the month Marco and I went to the Thailand Grand Festival (Dutch) in the Plein. The highlight was definitely the culinary options – more than half of the festival was taken up by food tents. And everything looked so delicious! But they also had music and dance performances as well.

Thailand Grand Festival 2017 in The Hague

We ended up going only a few minutes after they opened, but it was already pretty busy. I ended up taking photos from a distance because it was so crowded in the area where the festival was happening.Thailand Grand Festival 2017 (Plein, The Hague)

If only the weather today was as good as that day — today it was just rain, rain, rain. And more rain. Welcome to the Netherlands! 🙂 (just kidding)

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